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Mental strength and Anfield crowd can see us past United – Toure

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes his team’s improved mentality and a loud home crowd will prove to be key factors against Manchester United on Sunday.

The Reds’ dramatic 3-3 draw against Arsenal left them ninth in the Premier League going into the crunch clash against their arch-rivals, who are three points ahead in sixth spot.

Toure, 34, says he has noticed a significant improvement in the quality of Liverpool’s character in recent weeks, while he expects the Anfield support to play a key role.

He does, though, accept a better defensive performance will be needed against Louis van Gaal’s United.

“It is going to be another big game for us,” he told reporters.

“There has been a big, big improvement recently [in our mental strength] and that is very important when you are at a big club. You can’t ever give up. When you refuse to lose games, you often find yourself winning them.

“We showed character and resilience against Arsenal and we didn’t give up until the end of the game. It was a crazy game, a crazy night. 

“It wasn’t a good for a defender though, conceding three goals, so in the next game coming up against United, we need to show more power defensively. 

“These are the kind of games you can win if you are strong mentally. If we can be strong and the fans push us like they did against Arsenal – that can give us something extra.

“It is great to see the fans behind us. You know that in a lot of games it is only decided towards the end. Players get tired and when you have that push from your fans you can feel the difference.

“That is what you need. We just need to keep putting in the same level of effort and the results will come.”

Thu 14 Jan, 2016
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